On deadline to return to Mexico, woman remains in Clintonville church

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Edith Espinal has been in a Clintonville church sanctuary since October 2nd. Today is the deadline for her to fly back to Mexico.

A friend of the Espinal family who is helping with their legal status, Mohammad Adollahi, said the family has been in contact with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, (ICE) and they asked if she was going leave the country.

Espinal said she in an interview inside the church’s sanctuary, she is pleading with Governor Kasich and Senator Portman for help.

“To use their power so they don’t detain my son Brandow,” Edith said.

She said that is her biggest concern is that immigration could use her son to force her to leave. Brandow, 19,  does not have legal status, but his court date is not until 2020.

“Right now what they are doing is going to my house to check up on me, I have to go every two weeks and I get phone calls from them. Basically, it develops a lot of stress on me,” Brandow said.

The stress on the family is obvious.

“Her being in sanctuary and not at home, I need her,” Brandow said as his mother leaned over and began crying on her son’s shoulder.

Espinal was ordered to be deported by ICE and she was required to buy a one-way plane ticket to Mexico, a  flight time that has come and gone.

“I prefer having her a few miles away from home than a thousand miles. If I go visit her I won’t be able to come back to what I consider my home,” Brandow said.

Her lawyer, Lizbeth Mateo, is refiling a request asking the government for a stay to adjust her legal status, which would allow her to stay in the country because Edith said she fears for her life in Mexico.

Adollahi said there is a new twist in the deportation order for Espinal. Her oldest son Isidro turned 21 two weeks ago and as a citizen, he will petition ICE for his parents to be granted legal status.

Adollahi said Espinal is being told she will have to go back to Mexico for 20 years. He said she will stay in sanctuary for a year or more if necessary.

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